12 August 2014

Northamptonshire County Council has today announced that more than 21,800 homes and businesses in the county can now get faster fibre broadband as the multi million pound Superfast Northamptonshire project continues at pace bringing the high-speed technology to more communities.

Which areas have benefitted?

The latest areas to benefit from the programme include parts of Aldwincle, Barnwell, Cotton, Denford, Mawsley Village, Northampton, Oundle, Stoke Doyle, Thorpe Waterville, Thrapston and Woodford. Fifteen roadside fibre broadband cabinets in these communities have just ‘gone live’.

The first stage of the project, led by the county council in partnership with BT, builds on the private sector’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband to make the high-speed technology available to about 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the county by the end of 2015. Over 56,000 homes and businesses will have access to fibre-based broadband as a result of this first stage of the project.

Without public investment from the county council and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme as well as private investment from BT, it would not be commercially viable to make faster fibre broadband available in these communities. Public sector intervention is critical to ensure more people can benefit from access to faster broadband.

This announcement comes as the Department for Culture Media and Sport reveals that more than one million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the UK wide rollout. The rate at which the fibre technology is being rolled out under the Government programme is rapidly accelerating, with up to 40,000 UK premises gaining access every week. It will extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

What's the ultimate aim of the project?

The Superfast Northamptonshire project is playing its part in delivering this goal and remains one of the front runners in England. The county council’s ultimate aim goes beyond the Government’s nationwide 95 per cent coverage target and intends to secure countywide access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for economic growth and strategic infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted that Northamptonshire is part of this exciting story of delivering the infrastructure which will enable communities to access superfast broadband speeds.

“So far we’ve seen some rapid deployment across our county and I know that each week we are seeing more and more fibre being installed, which means we’re on the way to achieving our goals.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The Superfast Northamptonshire programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas.

“The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together. BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment and, if we can go further, we will do so.

“This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.”

How can I access superfast broadband?

The new network is available on an open wholesale basis to all internet service providers, ensuring competitive pricing and products for all local households and businesses.

To access the high-speed broadband network, people and companies in the upgraded areas should contact their chosen Internet Service Provider and enquire about a fast fibre connection.

The county council has already launched a procurement for the next major stage of the project and more news on the outcome of this will be available in the autumn.